Big Phony released two albums at the same time. Love Live the Lie was his exploration into electronic music. It’s an excellent album and one of my early favorites of the year. Bobby is the other album containing his recognizable vocal and guitar. The simplistic album was recorded through a laptop, microphone, and a $40 guitar. The fact that the emotion and tone of the songs come through is a perfect example of how good Big Phony is at creating excellent songs.
I didn’t listen to closely to Bobby when I first heard it as I favored Long Live the Lie, but after multiple plays, Bobby is my favorite album by Big Phony. It feels simple on the surface because the songs contain few instruments. But listening to the lyrics and how he sings the verses, there’s a definite powerful emotion coming through each line. Big Phony is a lot of Hee Young in that the influences that show up in the music are coming from Korean music, but a more international source.
The nine songs on Bobby are slow in tempo, but they never drag. “She’s the Kind of Girl” I like is one of my favorites from the album, it has a feeling of longing as it goes through the description. “Bedford Stop” is on both Bobby and Long Live the Lie and it’s interesting to hear the two versions. Some songs are accompanied by piano, expanding the sound of the song. While the album was recorded very do-it-yourself, the mixing and mastering of the songs gives each one a separate but connected voice.
Big Phony’s dual albums are perfect companion pieces. While each album is great on their own, they are made to be played together. Big Phony creates amazing songs that deserve more attention. His style fits perfectly for singer-songwriters in the United States, but also influence musicians in South Korea as well. Hopefully Big Phony can continue to release new music on a regular basis because his music can guide a new generation of musicians for the future.